Welcome to the “Composers Resource Report,” presented byEMandReel-Exchange.com.
Reel-Exchange is a Website dedicated to matching composers with the film, television and commercial sound-for-picture community. In these “Composers Resource Reports,” we'll spotlight eight film, TV or game composers who've impressed us with their music skills. If you would like to submit for consideration in these reports, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and use promo code REX005.
Joerg Alfter is a musician and composer whose songs were placed on several Gold and Platinum records, along with releases in Germany, Spain, Scandinavia, the UK, Canada and Japan. As a keyboardist, arranger and singer, Alfter's work can be heard on many international productions throughout the past 10 years.
Song releases include titles like “Here's to You” (Bernard Lachance), “Endless Way” (Smokie), “Navidad Sin Ti” (Toni Santos) and “Tu Volveras” (Naim Thomas). As a producer, he's worked on such albums as Shades of Duke (jazz icons Joe Wulf and Bob Barnard) and Groovin' Bone Guitar (guitarist/writer Christoph Lindner).
His unmistakable love for orchestral arrangements and film scores led him to television work and industrial scores. “Whenever there is a chance for some orchestration, I am more than happy to do that,” Alfter says. Looking forward to more scoring for film projects, Alfter is still writing and producing for different labels and artists.
After many successful studio years in the 1980s and '90s, Alfter started producing and composing for and with several national and international artists, as well as with singer/songwriter Joshua for their Urgent Music Project. He then signed a publishing contract with Global Chrysalis Music in 2002. One year later, the first song was placed on a five-time Platinum record for the Spanish version of American Idol called Operacion Triunfo. “Tu Volveras”, performed by Operacion Triunfo contestant Naim Thomas, was also written and arranged by writer-duo Joerg Alfter/Joshua.
Since 2007, he has been living on the beautiful islands of Hawaii, working on several projects along with names like Michael Ruff, Jon Basebase, Sunway, Lance Jyo, Bruce Gaitsch and many others. A solo album is planned for later this year.
Van Nuys, Calif.
Michael Dobbins began music training on violin at the age of 4, switching to horn at age 12, and is now living out his dream as a film composer and music editor in Los Angeles. With a quickly growing resume, he has worked as technical score assistant and score editor on several projects for composer John Frizzell, and has also worked in TV as an assistant music editor on a major reality TV show. Dobbins has composed music for nearly 20 projects and placed music in several feature films through music libraries. He is a member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists and ASCAP.
Dobbins does most of his work in his home studio, where he sequences on Apple Logic Pro 8 and edits in Digidesign Pro Tools. To create his scores, he uses the Vienna Symphonic Library Cube; Sonic Implants Orchestral library; Vienna Ensemble, EW/QL RA, Choirs and Colossus; and Native Instruments Reaktor, FM8 and Komplete 5. He supplements synth scoring by recording himself live on horn, trumpet, guitar, mandolin, harmonica and other acoustic sources. Dobbins records with a RØDE NT1-A mic and a Crown SASS-P MKII stereo room mic, and a PreSonus FireStudio 26 interface.
Before composing, his musical upbringing allowed him to thrive on both horn and guitar. During his youth, Dobbins became passionate about film scores because the horn is often a prominent instrument in films. Dobbins received a scholarship to Baylor University, where he earned his degree in Music Performance in 2000. During his junior and senior years, he auditioned for and won positions with both the Waco and Richardson Symphonies in Texas. Dobbins has performed in many concerts, including performances with Bruce Hornsby and the late Ray Charles.
Upon graduation, Dobbins moved to Japan for two years where he was a horn player for the Nishi Tokyo (West Tokyo) Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, he studied Koto, a 13-string Japanese harp.
Scott Freiman may be the only person to have sold out Carnegie Hall and been a finalist for Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year. A member of New York's prestigious Manhattan Producers Alliance, Freiman is a composer, sound editor and producer whose music spans a variety of musical styles — from orchestral to electronic. His original music and sound design have been featured in award-winning films.
Freiman's original film music has been performed at Lincoln Center (live with picture) and at a sold-out Carnegie Hall concert, “Composed By Scott Freiman.” He composed the original score for the feature film Ivory, starring Martin Landau, as well as original scores for the films Undone and Exit (Best Director Platinum Award at the 38th Annual WorldFest, Houston International Film Festival). Freiman's other film scores include the award-winning Bodies (Ojai Film Festival, Best Narrative Short) and Foreign Policy.
In addition to composing the scores for Ivory, Undone and Exit, he also provided sound editing, design and mixing for the films. Other credits include sound editor and re-recording mixer for Encounter Point (Tribeca Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival — Audience Award, Best Documentary), and a documentary from Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha, the writer of Control Room. He was also sound editor and re-recording mixer for Puppy Love, the 10-episode Web series from Sex and the City producer Amy B. Harris.
Freiman is the owner of Second Act Studio, a state-of-the-art music and video studio for composition, recording and production designed by studio architect John Storyk. Second Act Studio has played host to a wide range of musicians — from children to Grammy winners, such as bassist John Patitucci and the Tokyo String Quartet.
Rob Gironda has a deep passion for music, starting his musical training at the young age of 8 years old, then becoming a multi-instrumentalist and performing in bands as a teenager. His love of musical composition and arranging turned him toward the credentialed side of music, and he attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he absorbed and expanded his practical knowledge of musical arranging and composition. He furthered his education with a Bachelor's degree in Music from William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., earning a teaching degree with an emphasis on classical.
Spending years as a performance musician and as a composer, Gironda started on the path of work for hire for compositions and soundtracks of various eclectic independent projects and musical genres.
Since 2000, Gironda has become more involved with song placement and the music-library world due to his insatiable and successful ability to musically adapt to nearly any style. Whether it's customizing a musical bed for a 30-second TV commercial, providing a 4-minute piece for an in-house hotel spot, arranging multiple pieces of his various works to support a 30-minute documentary or serving as a co-producer/writer on a singer/songwriter CD, Gironda's true talent is in his diversification and understanding of providing the appropriate musical foundation for any project. Several of his pieces have been placed on major networks including MTV and ABC.
Gironda continues to express his passion with his ongoing involvement in live musical projects, as well as his studio endeavors. Combining a true musical talent with an educated background — along with an ability and desire to adapt to the needs of the project and client — make Gironda's job and career as a composer/arranger multi-faceted and highly satisfying. More importantly, client after client are equally as satisfied with his ability to blend all of his attributes to help any project he is involved with become a musical success. Such clients include Marriott Hotels, YNR Marketing, ABC, MTV and many indie films (most recently Blood Money).
JOHN KROGH, TONEWHEEL SOUND + MUSIC
Award-winning composer, engineer, producer and multi-instrumentalist John Krogh (ASCAP) has written music for a wide range of advertising, TV, film and new-media clients. Specializing in creating rich, compelling under-score and evocative textural palettes of sound, Krogh's passion lies in combining his creative and technical talents in support of “good work.” It doesn't matter the format — whether it's a low-budget short, a corporate branding video or a national advertising campaign, Krogh's aim isn't just to get the job done, but to deliver excellence.
Tonewheel is Krogh's music and sound design studio, where he has provided music, post mixing and sound design services for a wide range of high-profile clients, including Fox Sports, HP, Nike, Ubisoft, Sprite.com, Frontline World News, the National Parks Service and EA Games, to list a few.
In 2007, Krogh was awarded two Telly Awards: one for music he composed for a national broadcast 60-second spot for American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, and another for his score to The Rainforest Action Network, a documentary written and produced by Sundance Award-winning director Mark Decena.
Other accolades include SHOOT magazine ranking a series of Verizon “Dead Zone” commercials among the Top 10 spots of the Summer 2008 — of which Tonewheel and Krogh composed the music for the spots, which were inspired by such cult horror flicks as The Shining and Amityville Horror.
Krogh's music production background is as deep as it is diverse. From a stint as the keyboard player and co-songwriter for alt-country darlings Big Blue Hearts (Geffen/Interscope), to remixing artists such as Supreme Beings of Leisure (Palm Records) and The Fixx (MCA), and touring the globe with legendary rock and pop icons such as Whitney Houston, The Eagles, Don Henley, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and Jennifer Lopez, Krogh has covered more musical territory than most.
Arian Levin is a music composer and sound designer based in the Northern European country of Estonia with 10 years of experience. Levin's work can be found on various commercials, television shows, shorts, feature films and documentaries.
In 2007, Levin founded his own company, Kinky Kong Productions, which mainly produces sound and music for TV and radio commercials. Projects Levin has composed and produced include the main identity music for the Estonian Music Awards, image music for the largest brewery in the Baltic region, A Le Coq, music compositions for the international phone operator Tele2 and TV channel Kanal 4.
Levin's work can also be heard on television commercials for the Animated Dreams International Film Festival, where he created the music and sound design amd won the prestigious Estonian “Golden Egg” advertising award.
One of Levin's passions is writing music for films, and has done scores for many short films including Old Men's Paradise (directed by Ove Musting), which won a Best Short Film Award in 2005. He has also done sound design for many feature films and documentaries, including work as location sound mixer and boom operator for film and TV projects.
Levin's musical talents include violin, bass guitar and keyboards, as well as some guitar, and writes music for hip-hop/reggae band Def Rädäu, which has been nominated for and received many awards during the past decade.
TOM MARTIN & TOM PHILLIPS, OBT MUSIC
OBT Music is a film music library comprising works written for major network documentary films, feature films, planetariums, advertisements and museums, to name a few. It is music that was scored to real films by veteran award-winning composers Tom Martin and Tom Phillips, projecting a depth in composition and a sensibility to visuals that is unlike other music production libraries.
Martin and Phillips have been scoring films for more than 30 years, and credits include The Antiques Roadshow theme, multiple episodes of American Experience, NOVA, Nature, Discover magazine, Discovery specials including Engineering the Impossible and Beyond T-Rex, and dozens of films for other national broadcast and cable networks.
Recent OBT Music credits include several NOVA episodes, The Four Winged Dinosaur and The Great Energy Gamble, National Geographic's Five Years on Mars, feature films One Fast Move or I'm Gone and Mega Mall, and several films for PBS.
OBT Music recording facilities includes two rooms — one room equipped for acoustic instrument recording using Cakewalk SONAR 8 and MOTU Digital Performer; Neumann, AKG and Coles microphones; and Grace microphone preamps. It is geared toward more acoustic instrumental scoring with VSL, Sonivox and East West sample libraries. The second room uses Digital Performer with an extensive array of hardware and software synths, and samplers including Gigastudio, Spectrasonics Omnisphere and Stylus RMX, MOTU Mach Five and Ethno.
Martin and Phillips continue to score films for network broadcast television and are adding cues to the library in an ongoing basis. Current projects include “Freedom Riders” for American Experience, Terraforming on Mars for National Geographic and Skatopia, an independent feature film.
BRUCE SALES, 2BRUCE STUDIO
An accomplished pianist and composer, Bruce Sales graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. He then moved to New York City, where he worked for 17 years at top audio post-production houses such as HEA Productions and David Horowitz Music Associates (DHMA). But he was lured back to Asheville, N.C., his hometown, which is enjoying incredible growth that is reflected in the burgeoning production scene.
Sales has contributed his talents to significant local film productions that are putting Asheville on the map. His recent credits include: Anywhere USA directed by Chusy Haney-Jardine of Found Films Inc. (an official selection at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival); Climate Alive!, directed by Kurt Mann of American Green with the Media Arts Project and HUB Alliance; numerous award-winning TV commercials for The Grove Park Inn, a world-class spa and hotel; Fully Awake: Black Mountain College, a documentary about the experimental arts college that fostered such luminaries as Buckminster Fuller, Robert Rauschenberg, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and others; and a TV commercial for the Biltmore Estate, America's largest home and a popular winery.
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